Monday, August 26, 2013

from Elder Merkley's letter

You're having dinner with Elder Jerman's family? Haha, that's so great! I love that kid! I just talked to him on the phone this week, I was actually calling about Sven, and he sounds great! He has been learning the language really well, and we had our entire conversation in German. We had a ton of fun together.
Elder Merkley baptized Sven right after Jason arrived.

Christoph's Adventure!

Hey family, 
So last week Christoph and I met up! It worked out perfectly. I only had 45 minutes or so on emailing to catch a train and get to Ludwigsburg but it was so worth it! We had a great time. and we had a perfect activity too.  Our district decided to have a district Pday and we went to this palce in Ludwigsburg. Its pretty famous (I think) but it was so beautiful! We actually spend most of the time in the gardens part which was so fun to walk around. There were many fairly tales stories building which was fun to see, just a perfect Germany activity! Great to talk to Christoph and be with him as well as the others in our district. It just could not have been better! Here are some pictures too of the fun things there Christoph! 

Ps also one thing on the side, I will probably be getting transfered in two weeks, not 100% sure, we will be getting transfer calls this Friday to see what is the low down but so if you wont to hold back on sending letters that would be great until I give you the new address or let you know whats going on. An exciting time it will be! 

Elder Jerman

Elder Jerman with our exchange student, Christoph Dittrich

Our Path

Greetings Family! 
Hey great to hear that you are settled back into school and excited for a new year that will bring many great memories. Man I cant believe we are coming to the end of August, these summer days here has gone by quick but many great things to look back on here in Heilbronn. My days in Heilbronn could be coming to an end, we receive transfer calls this week and I would think that I will be transferred which would be exciting but only time will tell and we will stay focused on Heilbronn until the time comes. This week we have had some great improvement in some areas and not so much in others which is a bummer. We were going to have an appointment with the Hanselmanns (the family who the dad now decided to get baptized) but he had to go into work last moment and had a busy schedule the rest of the week and then they werent in church yesterday so we havent made much progress there but I will for sure keep you posted on him because that is still an exciting time for him and his family. 
The less active work we are doing here is moving right along. We are meeting with two families weekly and trying to get them back to church. Its sometimes frustrating when a lesson goes great and you think they will coming and then you give them a call the night before to see if they are coming and then something comes up! Oh man, agency is sure one thing you learn on a mission and how great a gift it really is both for the bad and the good. We will keep on going though. This week was also fun to have two appointments with two less actives that we have trying and trying to get a hold of and make out appointments and it never happens and this week it did! One was with a older man who is 88 years old and it was a great time. At the beginning he told us stories of the war times and he also showed us books from the 1780s, coins from the 500s, and postcards of Heilbronn before it was bombed during WW2. Wow it was like a museum and as he told us stories of the war I thought to myself, "man this is better than a history class!" We did share a message of the gospel which was most important but its just so neat to be in a part of the world that has so much history and fun to hear it from those who lived it! 
Right now is an exciting time for the branch here, one family has their son on a mission in Berlin and he is coming back next week! After church they had us over to eat and so fun to be with them at this exciting time of having there son come back after 2 years. They are a great family in our ward and it will be a blessing to have him come back. 
We had a exchanged this week with the zone leaders and oh man I loved it! One of them came here to Heilbronn to work with me and I learned so much from him. He really knows how to love the people by being himself around people in lessons and also on the streets which sometimes can be hard and will take practice but I am excited to work on that! I have been learning lots lately of this path back to our Heavenly Father and eternal life. Its a path everyone is one, if they know it or not and I like to call it a path of preparedness. Everyone is at different points on this path, I have learned through experience about this path. I talked with one man on a train that knows nothing about our church and so answered questioned and afterwards I knew he was in Gods hands now as he moves further along his path. Another experience is with one of our neighbors we helped a couple weeks ago get back into her house. We had to use a credit card but thats another story. This week we ran into her again and asked how she was doing and we had a good talk as she then asked some questions and was interested in what we do. She was more open to us as we served her and now she is moving right along and who knows what the future will bring but I do know that as we serve those around us and show them our love their hearts will soften no matter if they are German, American or anything! Its so great to be apart of this great work to help those on their path back to a loving Heavenly Father. 

I love you all, share your light with all and have a wonderful week!:)
Elder Jerman

Fairy Tale Park

Elder Jerman and Elder Lappalainen
at Ludwigsburg Palace

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week of Wonders

Oh man I dont know where to start for this week, we had a wonderful week here in Heilbronn! We are seeing the blessings of the Lord in this work here and it has been the coolest thing and I am learning more and more! Wow okay so on Tuesday after district meeting I had the opportunity to go and interview the Sisters investigator (Grace) who got baptized yesterday. It was neat to interview her and then get the impression that she was ready for baptism. She is actually from Africa and so I have thought of Brett and his mission a lot lately and the Spirit of the Africans. The baptism yesterday went great and so cool that we got to go and be apart of it. Another African member said the opening prayer and I must say, Africans give the greatest prays! She talked about how the heavens and angles were rejoicing at this time for the decision Grace had made to be baptized. I loved it! 

An update from our Romanian friend. So we have met with him a couple times this week at the church. He has been reading in the Book of Mormon and is determined to read the whole thing. Its exciting to discuss with him the stories and how we can relate it to our lives. The Book of Mormon is the greatest tool along with the Spirit in this work. What a great opportunity we have to read everyday from it and learn knowledge through the Spirit of the greatest work on earth! Wow we sure are lucky! So Lucian (thats his name) has still been looking for work this last week and hasnt found anything until yesterday we got a call from him and he told us he was on a train heading to another city for work! Its so great that he found work and what just made the story great was he texted us later and said thanks for all the help and friendship we gave to him and he told he loved us and then at the very end he said, "ps, your book is getting more and more interesting." Oh it was so cool to know he has been reading and figuring out the importance of it. Hopefully one day he will know of its truth. So we arent quite sure if he will stay there but probably so if he has found work so we will try and pass on the information to the missinoaries where he is. It was a great adventure and story with him though sharing our love and our beliefs, and maybe one day down the road he will join the church. 

So I have saved the last for best. We have this part member family in our branch, she is a member and he is not. They just had a baby in the last couple months and so they havent been to church a lot since I have been here. They came a couple weeks ago and we made out an appointment to come by and we did and shared a spiritual thought and we were quite amazed at this guy who wasnt a member. He had a Book of Mormon and even said the closing prayer. Afterwards we thought, how is this guy not a member?! So on Friday I called them to make out an appointment for this next week and on the phone he told me he has made the decision to be baptized!!! Oh man it was such an exciting and neat experience. On Sunday at church we had a class with him and this next week we will be figuring out the plan for the next coming weeks to teach him to prepare him for baptism! Its so great, the Lords works wonders and its been so interesting to figure out that as we work and work and dont see much success as we keep going the Lord blesses us with someone who is prepared! Ah this work is wonderful and its the work of the our God and his son Jesus Christ. 

Hope you have a great week getting back into a new school year, make goals and do your best. Zac happy birthday to you brother, love you! 

Elder Jerman
Near huge church in downtown Heilbronn

HEy family, 
ah sounds you had a great last week of summer and looks like you are all excited to start a new year of school and what an exciting year for all of you! Big steps in life and what a great time of life. Enjoy the journey and stay busy and involved. You all will be a great example to more people than you think. Keep smiling and I wish you all the best of luck this new school year!! :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Miracle of the Week

Well what a week it was here in Heilbronn! So great to hear from you and all the fun activities that are keeping your summer days busy. Fun also to hear that you learned some things about our ancestors at the family reunion. I have learned a great importance of genealogy and ancestors and so its fun to you are too. What a neat blessing we have to learn and read of the history of those in the past. So cool that we can write our own history for those to have in the future. Writing things down plays a big role in our lives and not just what we do but what we learn and what we are revealed personally. This last week we had a couple great meetings and so neat to both learn from my leaders and also the Holy Ghost as he gives me what I need in this time whether its who is speaking is saying or something else that comes to mind from his words. I have learned to trust in inspiration and write it down. It was a great couple days to come together in Stuttgart once again with the other missionaries around and receive great instruction for this work and then separate in our ways back in our own areas and then put it to work. Thats the tricky part but with the Lords help its possible and its so neat when things begin to happen and you see the Lord working through you to help these people. 

And we had experience this last week that was exactly that! It was a really cool miracle story and it is still in the process but those are the best because the best is yet to come! So it was Wednesday afternoon and we were traveling on bus to visit a member in a city outside of Heilbronn. I was on the phone making out an appointment and actually speaking in English and then during it a young guy sitting behind us speaks up in English and says, "Do you guys work for the church?" We started talking to him and found out that just that day he had his job taken away and also the place he was staying at. He is from Romania and had no idea what he was going to do because of his new situation. We had to get off but we gave him his card and told him to call us if he needed help. We weren't sure all we could do for him but we gave him our card none the less. The next morning after studies we were in a bus traveling to Bahnhof to go onto a potential to visit and we get a call and it was him! He asked us if we could help him out getting onto the Internet and trying to help translate some German sites so he could find a job. We decided to try and help him out as much as we could. We actually called up a member who knows a lot about the city and we all met at the church and started searching. Its pretty unusual in one day to find both a place to stay and a job so as our member was calling we were talking with him about the gospel and Book of Mormon. We were also finding more about him and how he did not want to go back home because there was nothing there for him and he had about nothing here. I was thankful at that point with all that I have and for my family and a future. We really are so blessed. We had to go but left him and the member trying to figure things out not knowing if he would have to go back or if he could find something. The next day we found out he was still here and had found somewhere to stay, he is still on the look out for a job but it was great he found a place to stay. We invited him to church and yesterday he came! It was so great! Sometimes I am just amazed of how things work out and how we meet people and how it all plays out. He told us that on that first day we met he felt something "pushing" him to speak with us and now a couple days he has been to church, has a Book of Mormon and we are planning to meet with him this next week. Wow and how simple that would have been not to speak up on the bus. So neat we have a message to share to the world that can help them in every way both temporal and spiritual. A message that brings peace at times not knowing what is next, a message of knowledge and hope for the future that goes into the eternities. 

This week we also had a exchange with the Elders in Ludwigsburg and I got to work with a new missionary that is fresh from the MTC. But German is no problem for him, he is a German! So it was way cool to work with a German missionary! A native in his own country but he can speak very little English, well hardly any at all but we spoke as if brothers (in the German language) ! He is a great missionary and we had a good time together. Missionaries are great and it is neat I have the opportunity to be apart of this great work at this great time to share this message to the world! Love you all so very much and hope you have a wonderful week! 

Liebe Grüße, 
Elder Jerman
Elder Jerman in Ohringen

Fun News - Hey I just thought I would let you know, I have had a little contact here and there with Christoph our exchange student from germany and he is now in Munich going to school. I asked president miles if I could meet up with him and he said it was okay so i gave him my number the he called and I was so surpised to hear him but so cool to speak in german with him and we made out a time where we are going to meet! He his coming to heilbronn next monday for pday so we can have a little fun time and i am so excited! Just thought you would want to know and thought you would be proud! ;) love you guys so much and thanks for all you do! I pray for you everyday and keep having fun while your summer last! 

Elder Jerman

Monday, August 5, 2013

Exciting Times

This first paragraph comes from an Elder Derek Day from our stake here in American Fork.  He is serving in Sweden and this is what he wrote home today.
"So here´s the full story of the Jerman incident.  Here we are on the computers 2 or 3 weeks ago.  My companion is going off and basically reading me his brothers letter home.  So I listen and then he says here is a picture so I slide over to see my comps brothers picture and there is Jason Jerman.  So I said, "Hey!  Your brother's companion is a kid I know from home! (joke)  His name is Jason Jerman and is in my stake."  I said, his name is Elder jerman right?  He said, " I don´t know"  

So he writes to his brother and asks.  The next week it is all confirmed.  Jason wrote home about it last week, but not me.  Sorry!  So mine and Jasons companions are brothers.  They are from Finland and their last names are Lappaleinen. 
Guten Tag Meine Familie! 

I am writing a little later today, we are in Stuttgart right now at the end of our Pday and then we will go back to Heilbronn and go to a members house for Familie Heim Abend. For Pday we were with our Zone at the Stake Center and played some games there that a member had put together for us. One of which was doudgeball which I havent played in a long time, and oh man I forgot how much I love that game. It was great being with our zone and we usually do a zone Pday before we have Zone Training (which is every month) just so we can get to know each other better. This week also we will have Zone Conference which will be awesome too! But for this week we were working lots with the less actives and ward members! It is great to have contact with them throughout the week instead of just seeing them on Sundays at church. Its so important and great to be with them and strengthen them as they help strengthen us as well. We met with our member who has gone blind in these last couple of months. We read him a talk from the last General Conference and it was neat being with him and talking and learning from him. He is so strong and has great faith in this gospel! We are meeting with a less active named David pretty often now which is so fun to be growing and building a relationship with him, he has a smoking problem but we go to his house and help him clean and then read with him in the Book of Mormon, he has been coming to church the last couple weeks too which is so great. Its funny though because he is not a German but can speak it perfectly but loves speaking English with us so he can practice his English. He is always asking me questions about English and I am no English major. (Should of paid more attention in English class, I would have never guessed I would need it like this) Its fun though to speak with him and be with him. 
We also had the opportunity this week to give 2 priesthood blessings, one to a member and then one to a investigator in Ludwigsburg that the Sister there asked us to come and give the investigator a blessing. It is such a neat opportunity to use the power of the priesthood, and I know it is a real power of God. I asked Elder Lappalainen also this week to give me a blessing which was way awesome! I just asked him to give me a blessing so I can be able to fulfill me duty as a District Leader and a missionary, it was a special blessing and I know it was the Spirit speaking through him because the things he said is what I needed! As District leader I have the opportunity to have contact with my district throughout the week, I give them a call at night and catch up on things and make sure all is well. It takes up quite a bit of time at night but no worries I am still caught up in my journal even though I have gotten behind some days. But I love having contact with them and seeing all the work they are doing. I also lead District meetings that we will have every week which is a neat opportunity to prepare for those according to what my district need. It will be a great time to serve, and to show and grow my love for these great missionaries here! 
So on Saturday we had quite an adventurous day! It is a day I dont think I will ever forget! So Friday night a member called and asked if we could help him with a service project the next day and we signed up right away. We werent quite sure what we were going to do, he just said something about going somewhere and picking up a piece of furniture for a family in our ward. So off we went Saturday afternoon and we were driving for some time, then I started noticing signs that were saying Heidelberg and Frankfurt and had the thought, "hmm I dont think thats in our mission" Well to make things short, we had left our mission boundaries! Thats not exactly aloud and we try to stay here but sometimes it happens and when there is nothing to do you have just got to enjoy the journey. Also another exciting experience is one night we got out of an appointment late with a less active so we ran to our bus stop but had just missed it so we decided to walk to the next and one the way the police pulled over and got out and asked us for our passports! Good thing I had mine on me! Elder Lappalainen just had his license but being European he was okay. Well there are some exciting and fun things for you, but we can also all learn from them. Always try and stay in the boundaries and always be prepared! 
I love you guys and this work is the work of the Lord. We see his hand everyday in this wonderful work. 

Liebe Grüße, 
Elder Jerman
Singing a hymn to thank Johann for lunch at Stuttgart Zone Conference

Stuttgart Zone Conference lunch

Stuttgart Zone Conference